over·​graze ˌō-vər-ˈgrāz How to pronounce overgraze (audio)
overgrazed; overgrazing; overgrazes

transitive verb

: to allow animals to graze (an area, such as a pasture) to the point of damaging vegetational cover

Examples of overgraze in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The factor may be that herbivores overgraze their range and run short of food. E O Wilson, Discover Magazine, 11 June 2012 But unlike large mammals, the ants don’t overgraze all the vegetation in the area around their colony. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2022 Managers extended the fall season and provided winter openings to try to hit harvest targets, something Fish and Game says is important to keep the herd sustainable, and not so large that animals overgraze or starve. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Sep. 2021 As a result, proliferating shrimp could overgraze the algae that supports a healthy population, according to Luft. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Dec. 2020 Cattle and sheep overgraze on the zacaton, and farmers burn the grass to promote new growth in pastures and cut it for thatch. National Geographic, 23 Jan. 2020 In this case, individual Arizonans are being asked to guard the public good, while policy makers, developers and multinational corporations overgraze our water to the detriment of the greater good. John D'anna, azcentral, 15 Dec. 2019 Without sharks, fish would overgraze and destroy our oceans. Stephanie Bedo, Fox News, 16 July 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overgraze.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overgraze was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near overgraze

Cite this Entry

“Overgraze.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overgraze. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


over·​graze ō-vər-ˈgrāz How to pronounce overgraze (audio)
overgrazed; overgrazing
: to allow animals to graze (as a pasture) to the point of damaging the vegetation

More from Merriam-Webster on overgraze

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